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Russian paratroopers' doomed raid to take airport: Video shows elite troops before they were wiped out at battle of Hostomel at the start of invasion as Russia admits five were killed in 'special operation'

Source: Daily Mail


I think that a before clause can't modify a noun. "before they were wiped out at battle of Hostomel at the start of invasion" modifies "elite troops".

I regard that as unnatural. I'd like to know what is your take on that.

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    The before clause does not modify elite troops. It continues the sentence. The man left the house before his sons were ready to leave.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 15:59

1 Answer 1

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This is a time phrase, giving a description of the time that the video shows the troops. I don't see the "before" phrase as modifying the noun "troops". The expression is "headlinese" but it is natural enough

Compare

This is a photograph of my brother when he was five years old.

That is a natural enough expression, and the "when" clause gives the time of the photograph, it doesn't modify "brother".

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  • I think that "Video shows" in the original post should be "Video showed". I'd like to know what you think about that. Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 16:28
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    no, simple present in the headline. The video shows these troops. That is a simple fact so simple presetn
    – James K
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 16:42

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